To help get you started finding OER to support your courses and contributing open educational content for your discipline, CARL has prepared the following information for those new to OER:
How do I find OER?
The following resources provide an excellent place to start searching for OER for your courses. Additionally, the library or teaching and learning unit can be an excellent resource to help you identify the OER available to you.
The following are province-level repositories of open educational content here in Canada:
Although not a repository, the La Fabrique REL website includes a section that lists its completed projects.
The following are searchable international databases for French resources:
- BNEUF – database of open resources (not all OER) maintained by the Agence universitaire de la francophonie
- Ceres – a Québec-France collaboration, Ceres is a collection of primarily French-language free online content (not all this content is fully open)
- REL@UVA – collection of open content managed by the African Virtual University
The following are searchable international databases that contain primarily English resources:
- Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) – OASIS is one of the largest databases that allows searching for OER content from many different sources.
- OER Commons – OER Commons offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.
- Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) – The Mason OER Metafinder searches across 21 well-known OER repositories including OpenStax, OER Commons, MERLOT and also open content sites such as HathiTrust, DPLA, Internet Archive and NYPL Digital Collections.
- MERLOT – The MERLOT collection consists of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages. Materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability for retention in the collection.
- Open Textbook Library – Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
- Milne Open Textbooks – Milne Open Textbooks is a catalog of open textbooks authored and peer-reviewed by State University of New York (SUNY) faculty and staff, and maintained by Milne Library Publishing at SUNY Geneseo.
- OpenStax – Peer-reviewed open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. See Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements (blog post).
How do I adapt OER?
When finding an OER you may want to take advantage of the ability to modify the content to make it relevant for your specific course learning outcomes, assessment approaches as well as your teaching style. Use the following tips to guide you when adapting or remixing and OER:
- Check the license of the resource to make sure you have the right to adapt or remix.
- Information about Creative Commons is available online.
- Select a platform you will use to adapt the resource. Although there are several available platforms specific to OER (e.g. Pressbooks, Open Monograph Systems), OER can be released in practically any format. The platform will depend on the kind of resource you are creating and what is easily available to you at your institution, freely online, or through provincial supporting bodies (e.g. BCcampus, eCampusOntario, OpenEd Manitoba)
- Provide attribution (i.e. citations) for the sources you are modifying. Even if the resource is in Public Domain, it is best to model academic citation practices.
- Information about the TASL OER attribution practices is available online.
How do I share OER?
Sharing your resources is a way you can support the growth and health of the open education community and support the ongoing efforts for affordable barrier-free education. Use the following tips to get started sharing your educational resources;
- Attach a Creative Commons license to your original work to indicate that others are free to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and/or redistribute the resources.
- Information about choosing a Creative Commons license is available online.
- Decide what types of functionality and features you need to share your OER in a repository.
- Choosing an Open Education Repository (UBC) is one example of guides that are available online to help you decide where to share your content.
- Select a space/or spaces to make your work discoverable. This may include your institution’s open repository or third-party repository. Some examples of OER repositories are listed in the “How Do I Find OER” section above.
How do I get help?
Your institution’s library or teaching and learning unit may have a variety of OER supports available to you. Contact your institution to learn what they can offer.